Mysterious paralysis-causing syndrome appears to be on the rise
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a dangerous health condition, acute flaccid myelitis, which appears to be on the rise with 50 new cases. The illness can cause temporary or permanent paralysis in severe cases.
“We continue to receive reports of sporadic cases of Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). From January 1 to August 31, 2016, a total of 50 people in 24 states across the country were confirmed to have AFM,” said the CDC on Monday. “AFM is a rare illness that anyone can get. It affects a person’s nervous system, specifically the spinal cord. AFM can result from a variety of causes, including viral infections.”
AFM causes damage that can result in temporary or permanent paralysis in severe cases. The CDC said the syndrome has a variety of causes, including enterovirus D68
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Symptoms include facial droop or weakness, droopy eyelids, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech.
The CDC first began receiving reports of the syndrome in August 2014, and began an investigation. By December 2014, 120 people were confirmed with the illness, many of whom were children who developed AFM.